Microsoft unveils new tools to curb hate speech

By: GizBot Bureau

In an effort to curb hate speech and ensure safe online communities, Microsoft has announced a new dedicated web form for reporting hate speech on its hosted consumer services and a separate online form for petitions to reconsider and reinstate content.

Microsoft unveils new tools to curb hate speech

With these resources, microsoft users will now be able to communicate directly with the firm to report hate speech and request petition to reinstate content via online forms.

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"We will continue our 'notice-and-takedown' approach for removing prohibited content on hosted consumer services, and the new form aims to improve the quality and speed of our reviews," Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Online Safety Officer at Microsoft, said in a blog post on Saturday.

"When hate speech is reported to us, we will evaluate each complaint, consider context and other factors, and determine appropriate action with respect to the content and the user's account," he added.

Microsoft offers services like Outlook, Skype, Xbox, OneDrive and Office 365 which draw millions of users.

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"We're making it simpler for users to report hate speech. We are also adding a new multi-service reconsideration form to request reinstatement of content that customers feel was disabled in error. We will review submissions via this new form, and if appropriate, reinstate the content," Beauchere posted.

Microsoft is also working with the broader internet community to combat offensive content online.

It is working with governments, online safety advocates and other technology companies to ensure there is no place on its hosted consumer services for conduct that incites violence and hate.

Microsoft unveils new tools to curb hate speech

For example, Microsoft recently joined major social media and video-sharing firms in support of the European Commission Code of Conduct countering illegal hate speech online - a joint effort to stop unlawful public incitement to violence and hatred across Europe.

"Reports received from governments will be included as government requests in our semi-annual Content Removal Requests Report, published at the Microsoft Transparency Hub," the post said.

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The company hopes that this effort will more directly address hate speech on its hosted services and improve transparency in how it is tackling the offensive content online.

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